Ordering food in: Changing dynamics of restaurant food habits

| Updated: October 20, 2022 21:55:13

Ordering food in: Changing dynamics of restaurant food habits

It was 10:30 at night. You had your dinner earlier and are already in bed to take another step towards a 'healthy life. However, a little hunger seems to be peeking into your stomach. And coincidentally, you come across a tempting food advertisement on Facebook. And then it didn’t take much time to forget the promise of healthy life and order oven-baked pasta!

Nevertheless, maybe not everyone orders the food. Sometimes the cravings are a little too untimely, and sometimes you might be broke. But in this age of social media, few haven't gone through this late-night craving phase. Various food delivery apps and services are crafted in a particular way to encourage this craving.

With changing dynamics of a fast-moving lifestyle, people are increasingly getting dependent on restaurant foods and home deliveries. But who are the main customers of home delivery services? Why are they preferring to eat at home instead of going to a restaurant?

“It's basically my sloth. Chilling at home on a day off, or coming home from a busy schedule at varsity makes the mood for a little crispy chicken in the evening,” said Adil Ahmed, a final-year graduate student at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST). To him, dressing up and going to a restaurant facing traffic jams doesn’t sound like a good idea. Rather, the food coming home saves time and energy.

“Apart from food, sitting together, chatting or taking snaps in an aesthethic interior can give you some good moments with friends or family. But when it's just about the food, and there is no fixed company either, home delivery is the best option,” he added.

Tahir-ul-Islam Talha, a BRAC University BBA 2nd semester student, has other reasons to opt for food orders. Food delivery apps always have some budget-friendly offers going on. And the comparison of the budget for home delivery with dining in a restaurant convinces him of the former option.

Although he can cook, he seldom has time to do so. He said, “Sometimes, all ingredients are not available. Instant ordering seems pocket-friendly and more convenient than buying those from the market and then cooking.”

While many may think these home delivery services are increasing our social distancing daily, it can happen the other way around too. “Most of the time I order food at home when guests arrive. It can be seen that if you go to a restaurant physically or spend the whole time in the kitchen making snacks for the guests, the time that could be spent together is wasted! I can order that food online and spend some quality time with them,” explained Shaishob Rahman, a freelance photographer from Dhaka.

Photos by Tabassum Tabriz

However, Shaishob didn’t forget to mention the disadvantages of food ordering. Along with the delay in delivery, there are frequent cases of food getting cold and spoilt, loose packaging, and even rotten foods sometimes.

Homemade and restaurant foods are never comparable. Both have different appeals. So food being the constant here, deciding whether to dine in a restaurant or bring them home depends on other factors.

“My husband and I both work outside. He returns quite a bit later than me in the evening. Since I don't have much interest in cooking, he cooks most of the time. But when he is late to return, I have no option but order the food online,” shared Tabassum Tabriz, a copywriter at Bread & Butter, a private advertising agency.

“Every service has its own advantages and disadvantages; so it is impossible to replace restaurants with home delivery or vice-versa. Both have different purposes,” she remarked.

According to her, one of the problems with home delivery is not getting proper food reviews before ordering from unfamiliar places and getting disappointed. However, this problem can also occur while dining in a new or unknown restaurant.

“When the restaurant is unknown, atleast make sure the interior is good before entering. Even if the food is not worth it, you’ll get some snaps for insta stories!”

For home delivery, however, we have no scope for complaint. Nevertheless, enjoying some fancy foods in the comfort of home is what matters to many. This is where the dynamics of eating outside are changing.

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